Strictly Ballroom Musical Aims to Go Global as Australian Run Extends

News   Strictly Ballroom Musical Aims to Go Global as Australian Run Extends
The Australian stage premiere of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, which features new songs by Diane Warren, David Foster, Sia and more, has extended its Melbourne run as producer Carmen Pavlovic begins to explore global plans for the production.

Thomas Lacey
Thomas Lacey

American songwriters Warren and Foster are part of a team that includes Australian composers Elliott Wheeler, "Chandelier" hit-maker Sia Furler and Eddie Perfect. The stage production also features songs from the film, including "Love is in the Air," "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps" and "Time After Time."

Strictly Ballroom opened April 12, 2014, after previews that began March 25 at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney. The production transferred to Melbourne, where it will continue through May 3 at Her Majesty's Theatre.

Producer Carmen Pavlovic, who is also re-working the Australian musical spectacle King Kong for American audiences, previously told the New York Times that she was eager to see Strictly Ballroom on Broadway.

"Following the successful launch in Sydney last year, we saw opportunities to further develop the show for subsequent productions," Pavlovic said in a statement. "I'm thrilled that regular audiences and critics alike respond so enthusiastically to Baz Luhrmann’s vision and creativity. Interest from theatre producers from all over the world who have come to see the show in Melbourne confirms my hopes that Strictly Ballroom the Musical has a future as a global venture."

An official announcement of a New York production has not been made. Global Creatures and Bazmark produce the stage production that reunites members of the 1992 film's original creative team, including Luhrmann, who co-writes with Craig Pearce, as well as set and costume designer Catherine Martin and choreographer John "Cha Cha" O'Connell.

The cast is led by 18-year-old Thomas Lacey ("Dance Academy") as Scott Hastings, opposite Phoebe Panaretos (Oliver!) as Fran.

The cast also includes Heather Mitchell as Shirley Hastings, Drew Forsythe as Doug Hastings, Mark Owen-Taylor as JJ Silvers, Bob Baines as Les Kendall, Fernando Mira as Rico, Natalie Gamsu as Ya Ya, Sophia Katos as Liz Holt, Andrew Cook as Wayne Burns, Ash Bee as Vanessa Cronin, Rohan Browne as Ken Railings, Angela Kennedy as Charm Leachman, Angie Stapleton as Pam Short, Nadia Coote as Tina Sparkle, Lachlan Martin as Clarey Welch, Tyler Coppin as Terry Best and Damien Bermingham as Merv.

Completing the company are Loren Hunter, Ryan Gonzalez, Cristina D'Agostino, Nathan Pinnell, Melanie Hawkins, Keanu Gonzalez, Kayla Attard, Mike Snell, Angelique Cassimatis, Steven Grace and Leigh Archer.

The creative team includes sound designer Peter Grubb, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, musical supervisor Max Lambert and composer, arranger and orchestrator Elliott Wheeler.

According to the creators, "Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann created as a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984."

Lurhmann co-wrote and directed the film about the world of competitive ballroom dancing, which was originally conceived and presented as a stage play.

"Of all of my shows, 'Strictly Ballroom' is the most personal," Luhrmann said in an earlier statement. "From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born."

Lurhmann is well known for his films "Moulin Rouge," "Romeo + Juliet," "Australia," "The Great Gatsby" and the Broadway production of the Puccini opera La Boheme.


Watch the TV spot below:

Today’s Most Popular News: